Disaster Debris Management

Climate Implications – Disaster Debris Management

Climate change will lead to more frequent and intense storms that may put at risk communities and sites that have not been previously impacted by flooding and storm surge. More powerful storms may also generate large amounts of debris that will need to be appropriately managed. Examples of the types of debris that may be generated include brush and trees, animal carcasses, construction materials, sediment, vehicles and electronic waste.

Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy illustrated the importance of having a waste management capacity to handle large amounts of disaster debris. To ensure state, tribal, local, and regional resources are not overwhelmed, clean up efforts require advance planning and coordination among individuals at all levels of government and the private sector with expertise in waste management. These resources include land disposal space, equipment for transporting debris and emergency response personnel.